The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government is wooing the Indian business community to invest in the Hamriyah Free Zone (HFZ), located close to Sharjah.

A delegation of senior HFZ officials, including its director Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, interacted with the Indian business community in the capital this week and explained to them about the benefits of investing there. There will be two more such meetings — one in Ahmedabad on 19 October and the second in Mumbai on 22 October — in which HFZ Authority officials will meet the business community, in an attempt to promote the free zone.

India sees UAE as one of its strategic partners in the Middle East. Recently, the Government of India announced that Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will be the chief guest at the next Republic Day parade here.

Till now, doing business in the Gulf was a difficult task. One had to make a local national partner in order to set up any office or business in the respective country, which was affecting their economy. In order to counter this problem, many Gulf nations are now setting up Free Trade Zones to promote overseas investment.

HFZ offers businesses to have 100% ownership of their respective company along with a world-class infrastructure. The benefits being given to businesses include 100% import and export tax exemption, 100% exemption from all commercial levies, 100% repatriation of capital and profits allowed, no corporate profit tax and no personal income tax. “There is a nominal fee to register office in HFZ and minimal paper work for company registration. HFZ is close to both Sharjah and Dubai and also to a seaport. HFZ offers ready-to-move offices and warehouses on lease and multiple visas for company employees,” Mazrouei told the business community.

UAE is a member of the World Trade Organisation and the Berne Convention on intellectual property rights protection. The free zone manages an area of about 22 million square metre of prime industrial and commercial land. Land lease is given to companies for 25 years. Other facilities include executive office suites for lease and on-site accommodation for investors.

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